In chronicling the rise and fall of the fictional band Daisy Jones and the Six, this intoxicating novel captures the essence of seventies rock’n’roll so realistically that it can be hard to remember it’s a work of fiction. Told in the anthropological style of rock retrospectives, the novel interweaves commentaries from the band members and the people surrounding them during their rise to fame, detailing all the internal tensions, sexual dramas, and drug-fueled escapades you might expect from any good rock history. The narrative centers on the complex relationship between the band’s charismatic frontman, Billy Dunne, and its glamorously troubled lead singer, Daisy Jones. Despite the tumult it causes (or perhaps because of it), their relationship—equal parts love and hate, admiration and contempt, desire and restraint, all steeped in a heaping dose of unacknowledged sexual tension—spawns a hit album that sends the Six skyrocketing to stardom.
The novel is at its best when it’s exploring the nature of relationships forged in the crucible of art—their intensity, their intimacy, their evolution over time and with fluctuations in success, money, and fame. Combined with the novel’s conversational, off-the-cuff style, this makes for a breezily compelling read, at once sparkling with glamour and intimately relatable.